Mikhail Prokhorov is still in Billy King’s corner.
SB Nation’s NetsDaily hosted a mailbag with the Nets owner, in which seven fans asked Prokhorov various questions with no restrictions on topic. Prokhorov responded in earnest to each question, including one about general manager Billy King’s job security.
“I bet Billy will be listening to the answer to this, right Dennis?” Prokhorov joked. “Joking aside, I am very glad to be working with Billy, and he has managed to pull off a lot of unexpected deals in the line with the guidance ownership has given him. And I think we (had) an excellent offseason this year, and I do believe it will bring success this season.”
By most metrics, the Nets don’t project to have a good season. Very few predictions have them making the playoffs, and they don’t have the added incentive of a first-round pick to tank.
Earlier in the mailbag, Prokhorov reaffirmed that he signed off on every Nets deal, from the Deron Williams trade to the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett blockbuster that famously flamed out. But he dodged a question about what move he would do over if he could. “We approach each move with our best judgment based on information at the time. … All these moves come from a desire to win. After that, I let the chips fall where they may.”
The Nets have been criticized in the past few years for making moves with the team’s “brand” in mind. Even Prokhorov himself once said the Pierce-Garnett trade was good for the Brooklyn brand. But in answering a question, he shot down the idea that the team made moves solely with brand awareness in mind.
“We didn’t bring in star players for brand awareness,” Prokhorov said. “But for a person who signed off on all these deals, I can say, the only thing I care about is building a winning team. And I do believe we had a fair shot with all these trades. It didn’t work out because sport is unpredictable. That’s why we love it, but I can fairly say our focus remains absolutely the same today.”
The last question Prokhorov answered was about mascots. I’ll leave that one as a surprise.
Check out NetsDaily for the full mailbag and video.